I have a confession to make…
Even though I hail from Asia, I’ve never actually set foot in China, let alone Hong Kong.
To me, Hong Kong has always embodied the old and new, its British colonial past and its autonomous city status presently, and past traditions versus modern trends. Roughly 20 years after the British handover, Hong Kong remains one of Asia’s most important financial and cultural hub.
And… I hear the food is wonderful.
If I were to visit this majestic city, here are the top five things that I would do in order to fulfill my wants:
Eat dim sum
- Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine (particularly Cantonese but also other varieties) prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum dishes are usually served with tea and together form a full tea brunch. A traditional dim sum includes various types of steamed buns such as cha siu bao (a steamed bun filled with barbecue pork), rice or wheat dumplings and rice noodle rolls, which contain a range of ingredients, including beef, chicken, pork, prawns, and vegetarian options. Many dim sum restaurants also offer plates of steamed green vegetables, roasted meats, congee and other soups. Dessert dim sum is also available and many places offer the customary egg tart. Dim sum is usually eaten as breakfast or brunch.
Go see Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha)
- Commonly known as the ‘Big Buddha’, the Tian Tan Buddha is a representation of Lord Gautama some 23m high (or 26.4m with the lotus), or just under 34m if you include the podium. It was unveiled in 1993, and today it still holds the honour of being the tallest seated bronze Buddha statue in the world.
Sightsee Victoria Peak
- Standing at 552m, Victoria Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. The Peak is also one of the most visited spots by tourists in Hong Kong, and it’s not hard to see why. Sweeping views of the vibrant metropolis, verdant woods, easy but spectacular walks, all reachable in just eight minutes from Central by Hong Kong’s earliest form of transport.
Shop at Temple Street Night Market
- The liveliest night market in Hong Kong, Temple St extends from Man Ming Lane in the north to Nanking St in the south and is cut in two by the Tin Hau Temple complex. While you may find better bargains further north in New Kowloon, and certainly over the border in Shēnzhèn, it is still a good place to go for the bustling atmosphere and the smells and tastes on offer from the dai pai dong (open-air street stall) food. People shop here for cheap clothes, watches, pirated CDs, fake labels, footwear, cookware and everyday items. Any marked prices should be considered suggestions, this is definitely a place to bargain.
Walk through Tsim Sha Tsui
- One of the finest city skylines in the world has to be that of Hong Kong Island, and the promenade here is one of the best ways to get an uninterrupted view. It’s a lovely place to stroll around during the day, but it really comes into its own in the evening, during the nightly Symphony of Lights, a spectacular sound-and-light show involving 44 buildings on the Hong Kong Island skyline. Along the first part of the promenade is the Avenue of the Stars, which pays homage to the Hong Kong film industry and its stars, with hand prints, sculptures and information boards, a brave but ultimately lacklustre effort to celebrate Hong Kong’s film and TV industry.
-Thanks to The Lonely Planet for providing good information about Hong Kong